Don’t Let a Dirty Keyboard Slow You Down: Tips for Easy Cleaning and Maintenance

white keyboard

If you use a computer regularly, your keyboard is likely to be one of the most heavily used items in your workspace. 

As a result, it’s important to keep it clean to ensure that it continues to function properly and to prevent the buildup of dirt, dust, and bacteria. 

In this article, I’ll provide tips for how to keep your keyboard clean and in good condition.

Let’s get started.

How to Clean Your Keyboard

Preparing for cleaning: 

Before you begin cleaning your keyboard, it’s important to take a few simple steps to prepare:

  • Turn off your computer and unplug your keyboard
  • Shake out any loose debris or crumbs from the keyboard
  • Use a soft, dry cloth to wipe down the surface of the keyboard

Cleaning the surface of the keyboard: To clean the surface of your keyboard, you can use a soft, damp cloth and a small amount of gentle soap. Wring out the cloth so that it’s just damp, and then wipe down the surface of the keyboard. Avoid using too much water, as this can damage the keyboard.

Cleaning between the keys: Cleaning between the keys of your keyboard can be challenging, but it’s important to remove any dirt, dust, or debris that may have accumulated there. You can use a can of compressed air to blow out any debris that’s stuck between the keys. 

Alternatively, you can use a small brush, like a toothbrush, to gently sweep out any dirt. If the dirt won’t come off, you can try using cotton swabs dipped in isopropyl alcohol.

Cleaning the keycaps: The keycaps are the small pieces that cover the individual keys on your keyboard. You can remove these keycaps to clean them more thoroughly. 

Gently pry up each keycap using a small tool like a flathead screwdriver, and then use a soft, damp cloth to wipe them down. Be sure to dry each keycap thoroughly before replacing it.

You can also try cleaning each keycap with baking soda. Read How To Clean A Filthy Keyboard With Baking Soda (With Pictures) for more.

Drying the keyboard: Once you’ve finished cleaning your keyboard, it’s important to dry it thoroughly before using it again. Use a soft, dry cloth to wipe down the surface of the keyboard, and then let it air dry for a few hours before plugging it back in.

5 Tips for Maintaining a Clean Keyboard

Keep your hands clean: One of the easiest ways to keep your keyboard clean is to keep your hands clean. Wash your hands regularly, and avoid using your keyboard with dirty or greasy fingers.

Avoid eating and drinking near your keyboard: Food and drink can easily spill onto your keyboard, causing damage and making it more difficult to clean. Try to avoid eating or drinking near your keyboard.

Use a keyboard cover: A keyboard cover can help protect your keyboard from spills, dirt, and other debris. They’re relatively inexpensive and can be easily removed for cleaning.

Regularly clean your workspace: Keeping your entire workspace clean and tidy can help prevent dirt and debris from accumulating on your keyboard. Wipe down your desk and surrounding area regularly to prevent dust and debris from settling on your keyboard.

Use compressed air: Using a can of compressed air to blow out any dirt, dust, or debris that may have accumulated between your keyboard keys can help prevent buildup and prolong the lifespan of your keyboard.

What to Avoid When Cleaning Your Keyboard

Using too much liquid: Excess liquid can damage your keyboard, so it’s important to avoid using too much water or cleaning solution when wiping down the surface of the keyboard.

Using harsh chemicals: Harsh chemicals like bleach or ammonia can damage your keyboard and are not recommended for cleaning.

Submerging the keyboard in water: Never submerge your keyboard in water. This can cause serious damage and could even ruin your keyboard.

Scrubbing too hard: Scrubbing your keyboard too hard can damage the keys and other components. Be gentle when cleaning your keyboard to avoid causing any harm.

Using rough or abrasive materials: Using rough or abrasive materials like steel wool or rough brushes can scratch the surface of your keyboard and cause damage.

Benefits of Keeping Your Keyboard Clean

When you consider the amount of time you spend using your keyboard, it’s easy to see why keeping it clean is so important. 

Not only can a dirty keyboard lead to malfunctions and reduced efficiency, but it can also harbor germs and bacteria that could make you sick.

There are many benefits to keeping your keyboard clean, including:

  • Improved keyboard performance
  • Increased lifespan of your keyboard
  • Reduced risk of illness and infection
  • Improved overall hygiene and cleanliness of your workspace


Regularly cleaning your keyboard can help prevent the buildup of dirt, dust, and bacteria, and can help prolong the lifespan of the keyboard.

By following these tips, you can keep your keyboard clean and in good condition, ensuring that it functions properly and remains hygienic. 

So, take the necessary steps to keep your keyboard clean and make it a part of your regular cleaning routine.

Thanks for reading.

-Baking Soda Guy

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay